Time for a quick update on projects and a shout-out to some of my writing friends who have been very busy:
First of all, the anthology I co-edited with my good friend Stephen B. Gladish, Freedom of Vision: Voices From Behind Poetry Walls, will be featured on an ambitious summer promotional push. Published by Aisling Press, Freedom of Vision contains more than 130 poems, stories and essays from current and former inmates, as well as prison teachers, with contributions from award-winning writers such as Jimmy Santiago Baca, Ken Lamberton, Gordon Grilz and Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. We looked at more than 800 submissions before making our final selections. The anthology is truly wonderful, a real testament to vision, hope and the magic of life—no matter where it’s being lived.
Speaking of Steve, he’s hard at work on Book 3 of his Beloved Sky Warriors series, Tornado Fever. The first book, Island Fever: Stranded in the Pacific (originally titled Moonlight, Missiles and Moana) was published in 2005, and the second book, Mustang Fever: Run Free With Wild Mustangs was published in 2007. He also has a collection of essays percolating, which I’ll tell you about at another time.
Then there’s The Fool Is King, the debut poetry collection from Maggi DeRosa, which Aisling Press published in time for National Poetry Month. I first saw Maggi’s poetry online last summer; when we met, she told me she had many others that were just as good. Seven months later, and after a four-star performance that ended up on YouTube, The Fool Is King was released. Her poems are deeply emotional, full of honest appraisal, and built to read aloud—which she does, well. I had the pleasure of reading with Maggi in March at the Sunset Poets monthly meeting in Oceanside, Calif. Maggi’s going to be the guest poet at the North Park Arts Festival in San Diego in May — check her out, and get her book!
I’m really happy for one of my dear friends, Barbara Stahura, whose first book, What I Thought I Knew, will be published this summer by Wymac Publishing. While the essays in this collection date back to the mid-1990s, Barbara really found her impetus through the experience of helping her husband, Ken Willingham, recover (nearly 100%!) from a near-fatal motorcycle accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. Since then, she has gone on to become a journaling teacher for TBI patients through HealthSouth in Tucson, Ariz. Her essays are lyrical, informative, connective and straight to the heart, with plenty for the mind to chew on as well. I was privileged to be among the editors on What I Thought I Knew.
Back on the Kentucky front…Heidi Howard, a regular participant in the Crittenden County Library Workshop Series I teach, has learned that Harlequin Books is interested in one of her romance novels. Heidi suffered through the usual spate of rejections when she first sent out the manuscript, one editor even telling her that her idea was good, but she didn’t have the ability to write the story. In that situation, most writers would hang it up. Heidi didn’t. She worked her tail off, and now, she’s about to benefit greatly from it.
For those of you into “can’t miss” real estate investments (It’s true! Even in these economic times!), check out the book I ghostwrote for Tonja Demoff, Investing in the GO Zone. Tonja, ReMax’s top agent in the United States in 2007, is developing thousands of lots along the Gulf Coast, particularly in Mississippi … and we’ve put together a book on how to really capitalize on an incredible real estate investment opportunity. Order it now!
And on the market, involving clients and friends I’ve assisted:
• Sharline Chiang is shopping her memoir, Beijing Blues, through agent Meredith Hays;
• Mick Quinn’s book, The Uncommon Path, has been picked up by O-Book Publishing in London for English-language publication. In 2006, the book was published in Spanish by Corona Borealis Publishing. We assisted Mick with writing the book proposal.
• Carl Robinson is shopping his business advice book, Pathways to the Top;
• John Hudson is shopping his novel, Showdown at the Eventide Old Ladies Home;
• Jonathan Rosen is shopping a pair of books, Billy Buttles and the Gravesend Witch (young adult) andCustomer Disservice (non-fiction).
• Lance Avery Morgan and Mark Sullivan are shopping their fine children’s story, Passport Patrick, a potential series that features exquisite illustrations by Matt Choi.
• Ken Lancaster is shopping his novel, Crooked Branch.
That’s the update from around. Next, I’ll let you know about the two major poetry projects that are about to hit the streets.
For the latest on:
Writes of Life, 2007 Independent Publishers Book Award winner